When a couple from Carmel approached interior designer Rebecca Ward about a makeover for a second home they’d purchased in Granite Bay to be closer to their grandson on the weekends, she didn’t balk at the challenge.
The property had its quirks, to be sure, but the 3.4-acre setup was ideal for the homeowners, who train retired race dogs. “It was unique because a contractor had originally built it and housed a lot of his large equipment on-site, so there was a lot of garage area, something like 10 spaces,” explains Ward. “And there is a guesthouse in addition to the main house, and they were all kind of attached to each other.”
Ward converted one of the garages to living space, then set out to unify the home with a soothing palette of blues and grays. “I wanted to make sure the interiors stayed light even with those colors, so natural light was very important,” says Ward.
With four large dogs sharing the abode, durable finishes throughout was a must. “The owner was pretty emphatic about having engineered bamboo flooring throughout because she had it in her other house. She felt it held up well against the dogs’ nails and was easy to maintain,” says Ward. “That was the first finish we selected, and then we worked off of that.”
Furnishings throughout the residence are covered in durable, unfussy fabrics, making them easy to clean regardless of how many pets or kids they come into contact with. “The dogs go everywhere, and the husband wanted to be able to sit in his chair and pet them while he watched TV, so keeping things casual was key,” says Ward.
That doesn’t mean the house isn’t infused with a bit of glamour. Although the homeowners favor a somewhat industrial aesthetic, Ward made sure to introduce some softer, more feminine elements throughout. The mother-of-pearl penny round tiles used in the kitchen backsplash, for example, have “a bit of shimmer that dresses up the space,” Ward says. In the living room, the antique mirror panels on the sideboard bring some sparkle to what would typically be an unadorned piece of furniture.
“The homeowners wanted a place that felt inviting and not too serious since this isn’t their everyday home; it’s a place they go to relax and spend time with family,” says Ward. “I am pleased that we were able to achieve that.”